“Through all the terror, I can catch beauty in a glimpse of hope” – Charles Aubrey Rogers
We are living in a beautiful world that can be cruel. A world where there is a lot of poverty and hunger, where many children die before they are five, a world full of sickness, a world full of fearful hearts arising from wars and hatred, and a world where there is too much evil and suffering.
We are living in a world where many lives are lost through tragedies, where families are torn apart, where many are rendered homeless and where people are falsely accused, wrongly imprisoned, tortured, abused, persecuted and oppressed.
We are living in a world where the childhood of boys and girls has been stolen in the cause of war, prostitution, slavery and greed; a world where children are dispossessed of childhood and transformed into soldiers.
We are living in a world where orphans and widows are wandering lonely roads to uncertain futures, a world that is full of refugees, the property-dispossessed, suicide bombers, corruption, selfishness and greed because of hearts that have been hardened by pride.
We are living in a world where divisions of ruler and slave, rich and poor, full and starving, weak and strong are the norm. The end result has been people scarred by grief and tears, ignorance and fear, injured, orphaned, widowed and dead.
But imagine for a moment, what a beautiful world this would be if the hearts of those involved in conflicts were softened to bring comfort, compassion, sustenance, repentance, forgiveness, restoration, family unity, healing, love and peace that can endure. Imagine what a beautiful world this would be if we all strived to create peace where there is hate, conflict or disaster.
It would become a world without tears, a world that was free of tragedy whether by accident or deliberate acts, a world where there was no disease or hardship, and a world where all family needs were provided for.
It would become a world where all people were peacemakers, comforters, healers. Comforters who would offer shoulders to cry upon, a willing ear to listen and present help in times of despair and hopelessness. Healers whose touch would relieve trauma and pain arising from physical injury and emotional hurts.
It would become a world where neighbors and strangers lived together in harmony, where there was lasting peace, where there was compassion for all, and where there was comfort for families that were separated or bereaved.
It would become a world where there were no captives and jails; where all communities were safe; where there was refreshment for the weary and healing for the sick; where people with different histories freely intermingled, fell in love and made friends; where eyes were not clouded by hate; and where there was plenty of multiracial, multicultural, and multi-ethnic interactions.
We should constantly be reminded that each one of us can make this a beautiful world again if we practiced what is contained in the following prayer that was attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.